The daughter who had to leave home

 This a a story about my Mother and my sister who had to emigrate to Canada six years ago.
 It was the saddest day of all when my sister had to depart in the Fall of 2011,
 She was one of six daughters to Marie
  And Christy who sadly passed away a few short years before,
 Mam loved her close family unit and when her fourteen grandchildren came along,
 as close as her own brood,
 She was never happier than to see them altogether
 squabbling and laughing
 Just like her own

 Mam never had much in life
 Raising her own children right slap bang in the middle of the 70’s recession
 Her husband took to the drink and lost his job
 He was angry and sad
 My Mam was like a trojan then
 What a wonderful woman who stood by her man with grace and humility
 She made wonderful dinners from little
 and loved and lived for her children
 She was never angry or blaming
 And had great faith in God!

 An amazing gift she had through all of those years
 Was to open the hall door on our arrival from a tough day at school,
 hungry from the cold and a long wintry day,
 Was to greet us always with a smile
 And a bowl of stew

 Our house was poor with holes in the walls from my poor Dad’s depression
 And window’s were often broken
 But it was always clean
 And when Christmas came along there was no-one like my Dad who was in full festive cheer
 He helped all the neighbours bone and roll their Turkey’s and Hams
 Happily accepting a glass of Whiskey for his trouble…
 He played his Christmas music on the record player for all to here
 And he brought the funniest shaped Christmas tree home one year!
 We all said he must have cut it down himself from some where……
 But we sat around that tree and sang Christmas Carols….
 And Santa brought us presents too!
 But Christmas was a sad time for us too
 Because of his Depression
 My sister Elle was the fifth daughter for Mam
 She had a beautiful soul
 Never a trouble
 Never bold
 Kind and gentle
 Adoring of her two children 
 I’ll never forget my mam’s face of sadness and bravery all mixed up in one,
 when her beautiful child told her that she to leave her homeland for a better future for her kids….
 In true mammy style
 She kept her sadness to herself
 Encouraging of her daughter’s new life
 And silently broken as she wondered would she ever see her again…
 It was tough for my sister’s husband through this last recession
 With the mortgage to pay and and a family to feed
 He had to travel to Dublin for over an hour in the car each day
 for any little work
 And the diesel was huge money!
 The stress in their life was great
 And when they made the decision for a life where work was plenty
 I’m sure she battled with it well
 So, it was on the furthest western coast of Canada
 Where the winters were harsh 
 And there would be no Mammy’s stew…..
 She knew Mammy would be too scared to fly all that way too….
 But sure wouldn’t they be able to get home often enough?
 But not when life and work and school gets in the way
 And ever increasing airfare
 Well, she did get home when Mammy had an aneurysm removed from her brain a couple of years back
 Just by herself
 And she went back to her new home with a heavy heart
 knowing Mam was getting on….
 Mam’s siblings are passing each year
 One of which a best friend
 who’s heart she held dear
 Her memory had almost but forgot who my Mam was 
 And in my mammy’s mind, she is wondering 
 will this soon be her…..
 So she’s throwing a feast this Christmas Day
 with all the trimmings and Christmas Music to play
 She wants all her brood there 
 to mind them and love them and feed them
 and here them laughing
 So that she can hold on to that memory
 lest next Christmas might be different…..
 I know with no doubt 
 that my Mam’s wish for Christmas is to bring Eleanor home
 to be with her sisters
 And not be alone
 There in the vast country of Canada
 With Hugo her husband 
 And Sean and Grace
 To be with all their cousins
 In One Happy Place!
 I miss my sister and the others do too!
 I would be so happy if my Mam’s wish came true!

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